My Blog

Posts for: February, 2017

By Legacy Dental Care
February 27, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Sleep Dentistry  

Relax at Your Next Dental Visit with Sleep Dentistry 

Many people don't get dental issues resolved due to money issues, or lack of ample time in their busy schedules, but one of the most common reasons why some people don't have their teeth checked and cleaned is the simple fear of going to the dentist.
 
None of these reasons are good excuses -- a study by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research found that people between the ages of 20 to 64 have an average of 24.92 remaining teeth. This statistic is mostly due to neglect or delaying important procedures. Most dental emergencies could be avoided if patient would simply come in for a deep cleaning or a quick filling before an infection has a chance to start. Financial and scheduling issues can be resolved relatively easily compared to dental phobia. A phobia is an almost paralyzing fear of the dental chair that is usually brought on by some type of traumatic past experience.
 
Thankfully, it's simply not necessary to worry and fret about common dental procedures now that many dentists in Woodbridge sleep dentistry (also known as sedation dentistry) to area patients. As the nameSleep Dentistry. Happy people. suggests, you can lay back, relax and get back up with your dental problems fully resolved.
 

About Sleep Dentistry 

There are a few forms of sedation techniques offered to patients that give them basic relaxation during their appointments, like nitrous oxide and anti-anxiety pills, but the main type offered by your Woodbridge dentist is intravenous or IV. The medicine that puts the patient to “sleep” (which is actually awake, just in an extremely relaxed state) is given intravenously. Sedation can also be given orally or through nitrous oxide. Your Woodbridge dentist will determine the best modality for your individual case. 
 

After You Go Under, It's Over Before You Know It

When you're put under for sleep dentistry, you will gently fall into a "mental slumber" while lying back in your Woodbridge dentist's chair. The "sleep" is deep enough that you won't feel a thing throughout the visit. Before you know it the dentist has finished his work and you're ready to go. You must bring someone with you to the appointment to drive or escort you home.
 
Common Procedures Calling for Sleep Dentistry
 
Not all dental procedures call for sleep dentistry. The following are common procedures where a dentist in Woodbridge may recommend sedation:
  •  root canal therapy
  •  fillings
  •  deep cleaning and root planing
  •  periodontal surgery
  •  veneer preparation
 
Your dentist in Woodbridge, VA is available to discuss the best treatment and sedation options for your individual case. As your dentist in Woodbridge, he or she encourages you to ask all of the questions that you need answered to feel completely comfortable going into your appointment.
 
 

By Legacy Dental Care
February 20, 2017
Category: Oral Health
GiancarloStantonGetsMajor-LeagueMouthProtection

For major-league slugger Giancarlo Stanton, 2014 was a record-breaking year. After the baseball season ended, he signed a 13-year, $325 million contract with the Miami Marlins — the biggest deal in sports history. But earlier that same year, Stanton suffered one of the worst accidents in baseball: He was hit in the face by an 88-mph fastball, sustaining multiple fractures, lacerations, and extensive dental damage.

After the accident, Stanton didn’t play for the remainder of the season. But now he’s back in Spring Training… and he’s got a not-so-secret weapon to help protect him against another injury: A custom-made face guard designed to absorb impacts and keep him from suffering further trauma.

As sports fans, we’re glad that Stanton was able to overcome his injury and get back in the game. As dentists, we’d like to remind you that you don’t have to be a major-league player to feel the harmful effects of a sports injury — and you don’t have to look far to find a way to protect yourself. In fact, you can get a custom-made mouthguard right here at the dental office.

Mouthguards have a long tradition in sports like football, boxing, and hockey. But did you know that far more Americans are injured every year playing “non-collision” sports like basketball, baseball — and even bicycling? And it doesn’t take a major-league fastball to cause a dental injury: The highest incidence of sports-related dental injuries occurs in 15-to-18-year-old males. In fact, about one-third of all dental injuries among children stem from various types of sports activities. These injuries may result in countless hours being lost from school and work, and cost significant sums for treatment and restoration.

Mouthguards have a proven track record in reducing dental and facial injuries: They are capable of absorbing the energy of a blow to the mouth, and dissipating it in a way that prevents damage to facial structures and teeth. But not all mouthguards are created equal: Custom-fabricated mouthguards, which are produced from an exact model of your mouth made right here in the dental office, offer by far the best protection. They fit better and safeguard the teeth more fully than any off-the-shelf or “boil-and-bite” type can. Plus, they’re more comfortable to wear. And let’s face it: No mouth guard can protect your teeth if you don’t wear it.

What’s more, some recent studies indicate that custom-made mouthguards may offer significant protection against concussion. An increasing awareness of the dangers that concussion may pose to athletes is one more reason why we recommend custom-made mouthguards to active people and their families.

To get his face guard, Giancarlo Stanton reportedly went to a specialist sporting-goods manufacturer in Illinois, and paid around $1,000. But you can get a custom-made mouthguard for yourself or your loved ones right at our office for a fraction of that price. And the peace of mind it can give you is… priceless.

If you have questions about custom-made mouthguards, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “An Introduction to Sports Injuries & Dentistry” and “Athletic Mouthguards.”


By Legacy Dental Care
February 19, 2017
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: teeth whitening  
TeethWhiteningKnowYourOptions

There are many reasons why teeth may need a whitening treatment to achieve an appealing brightness: what we eat and drink, natural aging, genetics, and the lack of dedication to oral hygiene can all play a role in how we look.

For vital (living) teeth, there are basically three different options for teeth whitening, and we’d be happy to help you decide which is right for you:

  • In-office tooth whitening: The fastest way to get your smile radiant. A high concentration of a peroxide gel solution is applied directly to the tooth surface. Gums and other soft tissues are completely protected for your safety. This technique is excellent for whitening deep surface stains as well as general tooth whitening. This professional treatment requires the least amount of time to achieve the desired whiteness.
  • The professional take-home option: Custom-made bleaching trays are prepared by our office. This technique is convenient and less expensive, but the desired whiteness will take longer to achieve than the in-office option.
  • Over-the-counter products: These offer the least expensive option but use weaker whitening agents. For example, whitening strips, like the ones advertised on television, are popular and easy to use but will generally take the most time to achieve the desired success. Also, even agents that are not the strongest available may cause damage to teeth if used inappropriately and without professional supervision.

While there are normally no serious side effects after professional whitening treatments, there is a potential risk of tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. If either one or both of these occur, it should disappear within a few days.

It should come as no surprise that bleaching is not permanent. The whiteness will fade eventually depending on your diet, habits, hygiene, etc., but it usually will last at least six months — more often up to two years. Obviously, if you avoid drinking coffee, tea, or red wine, don’t smoke, and have a diligent oral hygiene routine your results may last longer.

Advertisements for teeth-whitening products are everywhere. If you have any questions about what you see, or simply want to do a reality check on their claims, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Whitening: Brighter, Lighter, Whiter...,” and “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered.”


By Legacy Dental Care
February 11, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: root resorption  
GetanEarlyStartTreatingRootResorptionBeforeitsTooLate

Baby (primary) teeth look and function much like their permanent counterparts. Besides having a visible crown, they also have roots that maintain contact with the jawbone.

But there are some differences, the biggest one being the normal process whereby primary tooth roots dissolve or, in dental terms, resorb. Root resorption eventually leads to the tooth coming loose to make way for the permanent tooth.

Adult tooth roots can also resorb — but it's decidedly not normal. If adult root resorption isn't promptly treated, it could also lead to tooth loss — but there won't be an incoming tooth to take its place.

Although it can begin inside a tooth, adult root resorption usually begins on the outside. One type, external cervical resorption (ECR), begins around the neck-like area of the tooth not far below the gum line. Its initial signs are small pink spots where the tooth enamel has eroded; those pink cells within the space are doing the damage.

We don't fully understand the mechanism behind ECR, but there are some factors that often contribute. People with periodontal ligament damage or trauma, sometimes due to too much force applied during orthodontic treatment, have a high risk of ECR. Some bleaching techniques for staining inside a tooth may also be a factor.

The key to treating ECR is to detect it as early as possible before it does too much root damage. Regular checkups with x-rays play a pivotal role in early detection. Advanced stages of ECR might require more advanced diagnostics like a cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scan to fully assess the damage.

If the lesion is small, we can surgically remove the cells causing the damage and fill the site with a tooth-colored filling. If ECR has spread toward the pulp, the tooth's inner nerve center, we may also need to perform a root canal treatment.

Either of these methods intends to save the tooth, but there is a point where the damage is too great and it's best to remove the tooth and replace it with a life-like dental implant or other restoration. That's why it requires vigilance through regular, semi-annual dental visits to detect the early signs of root resorption before it's too late.

If you would like more information on adult tooth root resorption, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Root Resorption.”


By Legacy Dental Care
February 09, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: veneers   cosmetic dentistry  

Porcelain veneers are an incredible and easy way to transform your teeth.veneers

While teeth are pretty strong and durable, that doesn’t mean that they can take a lot of abuse without dealing with repercussions. From stains to gaps between teeth, there are many unattractive imperfections that can leave you feeling less than thrilled about your smile. But before you get downtrodden, let our Woodbridge, VA, dentist, Dr. Sowmya Punaji, turn your smile around with dental veneers.

They can handle an array of cosmetic issues

These small porcelain shells may not look like much but the minute they are bonded to your teeth you’ll be able to hide all of your cosmetic flaws. Dental veneers are great for hiding:

  • Cracks, chips and broken teeth
  • Discolorations
  • Small gaps between teeth
  • Minor overlapping
  • Malformed/misshapen teeth
  • Worn down or small teeth

Veneers are designed to instantly make your smile whiter while also improving the size and shape of one or more teeth. Do you just hate that one discolored or malformed tooth that ruins the rest of your beautiful smile? Then cover it with a dental veneer!

The process of getting veneers is simple

Once our Woodbridge general dentist determines that you are an ideal candidate for veneers, it will only take two additional trips to our office to get your new smile. During the first trip, we will need to prep your teeth for veneers. This requires us to remove a very small amount of enamel from the front of your teeth to make room for the veneers. This is completely painless and can usually be performed without even needing local anesthesia. We will also take impressions of your teeth while you are here.

Once the dental lab has created your veneers you will come back in so we can bond them to your teeth. We will also check your bite and the fit of your veneers before we permanently adhere them to your teeth. In just a few weeks you could have a truly transformed smile.

They are stain-resistant and designed to last many years

Since veneers are permanent you want a restoration that will be durable enough to last. Of course, this doesn’t mean that veneers can’t be damaged or stained it just means that the materials used to make these veneers can stand up again potential stains. It’s also best to limit or even avoid certain stain-causing foods or beverages like wine or coffee.

Legacy Dental Care is dedicated to providing the very best cosmetic and restorative dentistry in Woodbridge, VA. If you want to find out whether veneers could give you the smile makeover you want then it’s time you booked a consultation with us.